When cruise ships are in town, one almost expects to hear “Ride Of The Valkyries” from the movie “Apocalypse Now” blasting over loudspeakers during the assault of the tour helicopters. Despite subtle differences in perspective in recent letters to the editor, it is evident we all have had enough.
Low-flying tour helicopters spew micro droplets of exhaust pollution into the air and onto the ground; disrupt conversations and business with their uncontrolled noise, and are always at risk of a crash into populated areas. Commercial flights on the Big Island are required for good reasons to fly over water to mitigate these very issues. Helicopters could also do the commuting portion of their flights to and from the waterfalls and Pu‘u ‘O‘o over the ocean. Helicopter tour operators will argue in favor of the contribution tourists make to the economy and to their profits and likely will not self-regulate, but at what expense to residents? Surely the State Departments of Health, Transportation, Business Regulation and the FAA can regulate the pollution, noise and safety concerns expressed by citizens. The County Council can address concerns via noise ordinances (on the ground) and by passing appropriate resolutions. The time to act is now.
Hawaiian Paradise Park
Most of us, in our personal lives, budget to spend available finances on essential items (taxes, HELCO-inflated electricity bills, food, mortgages, etc.) first, before spending our finances on discretionary ones (eating out, entertainment, etc.).
Our mayor and County Council seem to be ignoring the obvious: The fire department, police department and the prosecutor’s office should be fully funded! Most of us would consider these services essential, just us as we consider the provision of safe drinking water (wherever provided for) and maintaining our roadways essential!
We see 10-30 new names on the “Big Island Report” of citizens arrested and charged every day. This is a very large number for a population of 170,000.
Do the County Council members and the mayor really think that a handful of law enforcement personnel are all that are required to bring this ever-growing list of lawbreakers to justice? Do they really think that the current levels of law enforcement personnel are adequate to deal with the epidemic of serious (not merely benign use of marijuana) drug dealing and abuse?
It seems they would rather spend 2 percent of our revenues on pet projects to buy vacant land or create parks. It is quite easy to see why their priorities are screwed up: It is not their money!